BJP, KJP tie up, Congress ropes in SMK - The New Indian Express

BJP, KJP tie up, Congress ropes in SMK

Published: 09th August 2013 07:44 AM

Last Updated: 09th August 2013 08:07 AM

It was a day of rapprochement for political leaders in Karnataka.

Springing a surprise, the BJP and its breakaway leader former CM BS Yeddyurappa struck an electoral understanding for the Legislative Council bypolls, while an upset former Congress CM S M Krishna decided to help his party by taking an active role in the Lok Sabha bypolls.

Yeddyurappa, who has been dropping hints of returning to his former party, finally struck a deal over phone with former CM Jagadish Shettar to have an understanding in the bypolls.

As per the agreement, the BJP will support a KJP candidate from Mysore-Chamarajnagar constituency for the Council bypoll on August 22, while the KJP will support the BJP in Hubli-Dharwad and Chitradurga constituencies on the same day.

BJP candidate Yashaswini Nagaraj from Mysore-Chamarajanagar formally withdrew from the fray, while KJP candidate Shivaraj Sajjanar did the same from Hubli-Dharwad.

The KJP had not fielded any candidate in Chitradurga and will support the BJP candidate.

A senior leader, who refused to be named, said, “The last-minute understanding was struck to avoid a split in votes and to take on the Congress jointly.”

The JD(S) has already entered into an unofficial pact with the BJP by not fielding anyone for the Council bypolls, while the latter refrained from contesting the LS bypolls in Mandya and Bangalore Rural.  

Sources told Express that there was pressure from KJP to fight the Council polls together with a view to prevent the Congress from taking advantage of the division of votes among the BJP and KJP. So far, they have not thought of a joint campaign in the Council polls, a source said.

In the Congress camp, the aging war horse, S M Krishna, who had distanced himself from the bypolls for allegedly being “sidelined”, changed his mind after AICC general secretary in-charge of party affairs in Karnataka, Digvijay Singh, met him on Thursday and persuaded him to take on an active role. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Krishna criticised JD(S) for being opportunistic by striking a deal with the BJP. The former chief minister expressed confidence that the Congress will wrest both the Lok Sabha seats.

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